Tuesday’s this year will incorporate author interviews, writing news, the progress on my various writing projects and will be open to blog sharing.
If you would like to be interviewed or if you would like to share a blog post, your book news or events then please contact me with the details.
I am happy to connect with writers and authors no matter their geographical location or their writing experience. The more we share the better our writing community becomes.
As it is the first post of 2019, I will share my writing goals.
Firstly, I want to revise & edit the sequel to my fantasy novella, The Rython Kingdom. I have settled on a title – Rython Legacy. It is currently just under 30,000 words. I will participate in a NaNoWriMo workshop run by some of my writing group members in the next couple of months to get feedback on the story.
Secondly, the other novella I had planned for NaNoWriMo, grew to well over the novella length and continues to grow! It will be my first steampunk novel. It is exciting to write another genre. I have decided on the title: The Commodore’s Gift.
I will also host my writing group’s monthly meetings, attend book events and blog.
I used this prompt at my writers sharing meeting. It was such fun. The name conjured up an image of the character for all the participants and then we wrote a short story with our character as POV.
It was a great exercise and was followed by a discussion on finding character names to suit not only their personality but era, geographical location and status.
Why don’t you try? Then share in the comments.
This is my story:
“My Lady, your guests are in the library. Shall I bring tea?”
“Thank you, Holmes. Yes, tea would be nice. Use the floral tea set and a few fancies as well.”
Henrietta watched the butler walk away in his usual stately manner. She remembered her younger days, when she glided along these corridors, slender and nimble and full of energy. Alas no more, age had made her portly and she knew the whispering of the under maids. She overheard two of them jesting and calling her ‘widdle waddle’. If she were vindictive she might have dismissed them but she felt the nickname described her well – mores the pity.
As she opened the library door, a cacophony of chatter washed over her. The village fete committee of ten robust middle aged women greeted her and a couple even curtsied. Henrietta stifled a chuckle and sat at the oak desk. One woman stood.
“Lady Waddle, we are so very appreciative of your most kind offer of your grounds for this year’s village fete.”
“It is my absolute pleasure and please call me Henrietta, if we are going to work together, I would rather we were all comfortable.”
A sigh of relief circled the room and smiles greeted her announcement.
Henrietta smiled too , she may be the Lady of the Manor but she wanted to have fun as well as any other.
Writing usually energizes me. There’s nothing better than getting some ideas that have been running around in my head down on paper.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My kryptonite would have to be grammar and sometimes, punctuation. I get confused by all the rules. I’d rather just write.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I always pictured my name on the books I wrote.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Eva Blaskovic, Mandy-Eve Barnett, Konn Lavery. These guys have been huge inspirations and very supportive. Plus, they write awesome content.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
For the most part, I’m writing stand alones. I might have a signature that shows up in all my writing but all my works are going to be different genres and different characters
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
So far, just getting my book published. Spending money on that is creating a dream that I’ve had since I was a young girl.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I don’t remember anything specific but jokes and puns were one way I learned about the power of language.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
That’s a hard one to answer but probably Shade’s Children.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An anchor. It symbolizes my interest in pirates as well as helps me stay grounded. I’ve always been very attracted to anchors, whether in print, jewelry or real life.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two on paper and one in my head.
What does literary success look like to you?
Walking past a bookshop and seeing your book there, and having people talk about it, either in person or on social media.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Most of my writing has to do in the sci-fi and/or fantasy genre. I researched a lot of myths, history, and science fiction that other authors or TV producers have put out. I don’t know the hours that I put in before writing. Usually, I get an idea, start writing and then research as I go along.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
Depends on where in the book I am. Could be anywhere from 4-20/week
How do you select the names of your characters?
I generally want the names of my characters to reflect something of their personality so I’ll research some names and then pick the ones I like best. If I can’t find anything, I’ll just look up some names until something feels right. If that fails, I’ll find a random name generator and pick some from that.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene where one of my characters (who’s been having nightmares that no one else can understand) has a fight with her boyfriend about them. It was the point where she’s starting to lose her cool, from being scared all the time, confused and hurt as well as exhausted. It was hard to write her in a way that wasn’t to be confused with her throwing a fit. I had to choose my wording and emotional descriptions carefully.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I grew up watching and reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy. That genre really excites me and just seems to be a part of who I am. It makes sense for me when I’m writing in that genre.
How long have you been writing?
Actually writing, probably since I was 6 but my mom told me I used to make up stories right from the time I was 3 or 4.
What inspires you?
I pretty much get inspiration from everywhere. Music, dreams, reading other books or watching something on T.V., nature walks. I have a pretty vivid imagination and will usually get a scene playing out in my mind daily.
How do you find or make time to write?
It’s hard with kids and a business, but it’s something I can’t not do, so that means, sometimes staying up into the wee hours of the morning, or escaping to a coffee shop on a weekend.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a spin-off to the book I’m launching this year, and am currently splitting my time between a detective story set in a parallel 1920’s with some science fiction and steampunk elements. And, a science fiction book set in the future that has some inspiration from evolution and biology (that one will need lots of research).
What do your plans for future projects include?
Hopefully publishing them and getting more well known in the author world.
I am a Wellness Coach but my book will be available through my site after September 29, 2018.
Leslie Hodgins has been writing for years. Her areas of interest are science fiction and fantasy. She is a wife, a mom of two busy boys, a nature lover and a coffee addict. Music is a major inspiration, and when she’s writing, it’s always on.
When she’s not writing, she’s helping people through wellness coaching and helping them manage stress.
Leslie currently lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband, sons and her dog, Oscar.
The definition of a short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. Short stories originally emerged from traditional oral storytelling in the 17th century. In terms of word count they are usually under 7,500 words, however this word count can vary. Due to the diversity of short story content it is not easy to characterize them, they may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators. They feature a small cast of characters and focus on a self-contained incident using plot, resonance, literary techniques or other dynamic components but not in as much depth as a novel.
Short stories are considered, by many, as an apprenticeship form preceding more lengthy works, however they are a crafted form in their own right. Short story writers usually publish their narratives within a collection as part of an artistic or personal expression form.
This concentrated form of narrative can be theorized through traditional elements, such as exposition, complication, crisis, climax and resolution although not all follow this pattern. For instance, modern short stories start in the middle of the action and do not include exposition. Slightly longer works do include climax, crisis or a turning point but many do end abruptly or are left ‘open’ and can or cannot have a moral or practical lesson.
Have you written short stories? Is that how you started writing?
Do you find the short prose form enables you to ‘refresh’ your Muse when immerse in larger works?
I have a steampunk story (7700 words) that I am hoping to find a venue for, whether in an anthology or some other publication. So if you have a lead please share it.
My publisher has a couple of awesome short story authors published. Karen Probert and Barbie-Jo Smith. Karen’s characterizations and attention to detail is incredible and Barbie-Jo has the most humorous tales. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books
Science Fiction is a story based on the impact of potential science, either actual or imagined. It is one of the genres of literature that is set in the future or on other planets. The title is often shortened to SF or sci-fi. This genre typically deals with imaginative concepts, such as futuristic science and technology, space and time travel, even faster than light travel but also parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. The narrative can explore the potential consequences of scientific and innovation ideas developed to extremes.
Science fiction elements can include:
A temporal setting in the future with alternative timelines or in a historical past that contradicts the known facts of actual history
A spatial setting or scenes in outer space, on other worlds or even subterranean earth.
Characters do included aliens, mutants, robots and other imagined or predicted beings.
Technology can be futuristic or plausible. Examples being teleportation, mind control, ray guns and super-intelligent computers.
Scientific principles that contradict accepted physical laws, such as time travel.
New and different political or social systems.
Imagined future history of humans on earth or other planets.
Characters with paranormal abilities, such as telekinesis or telepathy.
Other universes or dimensions and travel between them.
Space opera, which is an adventure science fiction set mainly or entirely in outer space or on sometimes distant planets.
Utopian fiction, which portrays a setting that agrees with an ethos believed by the author of another reality.
Dystopia fiction, a portrayal opposed by the authors ethos.
Time Travel fiction where by utilizing a vehicle of some kind an operator can select a time period and purposefully travel there.
Military science fiction, where there is a conflict between national, interplanetary or interstellar armed forces.
Superhuman stories reflect the emergence of humans with abilities beyond the norm.
Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic
Apocalyptic fiction covers the end of civilization through war, while post-apocalyptic deals with the near aftermath of such a war.
Steampunk and dieselpunk, this genres are based on a futuristic technology existing in the past (usually the 19th century) and often set in the English Victorian era. They do contain prominent elements of science fiction through the use of fictional technological inventions.
Cyberpunk and biopunk. This is a reasonably ‘new’ genre emerging in the early 1980’s. It combines cybernetics and punk with a time frame usually in the near-future with dystopian settings.
Have you written a science fiction story/novel? Care to share?
I have a YA novella, Clickety Click that deals with aliens living in secret on Earth. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/679515 https://www.amazon.ca/Clickety-Click-Mandy-Eve-Barnett/dp/1927510856
And my latest YA novella, Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria is set on another planet. Launch early 2018.
I also have a steampunk inspired, The Toymaker (7K words) that may become a novella in the future. Time will tell.
Do you try writing in different genres? What has been your experience?